Let’s take a look at the passage in the Scriptures where God says to Abram (before he was Abraham) that all the families of the earth will be blessed through him (Avram).
וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה׃ (Ge 12:3)
It appears to be the first time God (Yahweh) speaks to Abraham. This is the genesis (get it?) of the nation of Israel. It's very interesting that from the very beginning, God is saying, "Yes, I will make you into a great nation (וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל), BUT, I am also going to bless every nation on earth through you.”
It was God's plan from the very beginning to use Israel to spread the message of Yeshua to the nations. Yeshua was not plan B because of Israel's failure, as I was taught. Israel was not perfect. We often rebelled. Ironically, because I use two computer monitors, my neck is feeling a little stiff at the moment...which reminds me of something else.
Nevertheless, God's plan for Israel worked—he brought forth the Messiah through Israel. It was through the Jewish apostles (Abraham’s descendants) that this message spread to other nations. And now, the most famous Jewish person to have ever lived is Yeshua (Jesus).
From the very beginning, God knew that through Abraham's loins, he would bring forth Yeshua to bless the nations. From the first time God called Abraham, his plan was to bless the nations through Israel. While Paul rightly refers to the one new man (the ecclesia) four times as a mystery that has been revealed in Ephesians 3, it was in plain sight all the time. Listen to the words of David in Psalm 67:
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. (Ps. 67:1-2)
Why does the psalmist desire God's grace, blessings, and his face to shine upon the nation of Israel? In order that the nations may know his salvation. David knew that this mission was never about Israel alone. How small would that be? In fact, that is what the prophet Isaiah says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Did you read that? Just bringing the restoration of Israel would be too small a task for the Almighty. He will also cause the Messiah to be a light that leads the nations to his eternal Kingdom along with Israel.
When God changed Abe’s name from Avram to Avraham, he had this calling in mind. Avraham means: "The father of a multitude of nations." God has always been a mission-oriented God! Now, let's pray for Israel to see her Messiah.
As we draw closer to the coming of the Lord, there are at least two things that will happen.
1) The message of the gospel will go to the ends of the earth. Yeshua said this has to happen before the end comes (Matt. 24:14), and that was the Commission of the first Jewish apostles to be witnesses of the validity of the resurrection from Israel עַד קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ! — to the ends of the earth.
Now I know what you might be thinking. OK, Ron, we get it, you speak Hebrew. We're really impressed. But the Book of Acts was written in Greek. So why are you writing it in Hebrew?
Well, first, that stung. I didn't expect my friends to judge me so harshly ;-). But the reason I wrote it in Hebrew is because it comes from the book of Isaiah. These were the exact words (see above) that God spoke through Isaiah about the mission of the Messiah—his salvation would go ad k’tze ha’aretz.
Remember, Paul would always go to the synagogue first. That was his pattern all throughout Acts. Sometimes, they would receive him and his message, and other times they would not. One of those times when they did not receive him, he quotes this very verse from Isaiah 49:6:
Then Paul and Barnabas answered [their Jewish opponents] boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 13:46-47)
Now those who believe that the church has replaced Israel might believe that the gospel would now go to the Gentiles and never return to the Jews. They would be mistaken. And that brings us to the second thing that must happen before Yeshua returns—Jewish revival.
2) In Acts 1, when Yeshua ascends into the heavens, the angels tell the disciples that he will return in the same way. I believe that has many meanings, the most obvious being that he would come down even as he went up. But I think it also means that he returns to Jerusalem (technically, to the Mount of Olives, see Zechariah 14:3-4). He leaves Jerusalem on the verge of a great outpouring. He will return to Jerusalem in revival.
Paul tells us in Romans Chapter 11 that after the gospel prospers among the nations, it will bear fruit once again among the Jewish people. In fact, at that time, “all Israel will be saved!” (Rom. 11:26). Ezekiel 36:24-27 talks about the spirit of God being poured out on Israel and the nation having a born-again experience.
Both Zechariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7 speak of the Jewish people mourning at the coming of the Lord, realizing that the one they had rejected is the Messiah. According to Zechariah 13 verse one, they will enjoy being cleansed in the fountain of forgiveness.
And both Jew and Gentile will live happily ever after in the Messianic kingdom.